If you do some research into scams of any kind, you’ll probably find that the numbers went up over the course of this year. This holiday season, we want to make sure that you and your team stay safe. The holidays tend to be rife with scams, and we don’t want our people to fall prey. To that end, here are some tips for staying smart and avoiding the most common schemes you might come across:

Seeing as it’s the season of giving, we know that a lot of people are looking for charities to which they can donate their money. We fully endorse charitable giving. We don’t, however, endorse people being tricked out of their money. It’s important to research the charity, and the fundraiser, before giving any money. The Federal Trade Commission has created a page specifically about donating to charities, it’s helpful to take a look at websites like this to make sure your money is going where you think it is.

There’s always an uptick in shopping around this time of year, and now more than ever, everyone is placing online orders versus in-person shopping. Some scammers will call you, posing as your bank, to verify your online purchase. In these instances, they’ll ask you to verify your login information. The number they’re calling from can even be your bank’s actual number. The login information they ask for could be anything from your PIN, your password or your social security number. The best course of action is to hang up the call, and call your bank directly.

While many of us are working from home, we also might be tempted to do some holiday shopping on our work computers. It’s important to use your work computer for work purposes only; you don’t want your $10/40 socks end up costing your office’s network security. Attackers are looking for people making personal purchases on their work devices, their ultimate goal being to attack the office network and infecting it with malware. Be sure to err on the side of caution, and keep work and personal computers for separate tasks.

Remember to exercise a healthy amount of skepticism while you’re on your device, but remember that you have us around to do the heavy lifting to make sure that you’re secured. Reach out to us with any security concerns or questions you have, and let’s keep our focus on the good this holiday season.